Chief Justice John Roberts Just Lost Control of His Court
Will That Prompt Him to Say Goodbye?
Hello, Amy Coney Barrett. Goodbye, Chief Justice John Roberts?
With the Senate vote confirming a not-so-stealth right-wing ideologue in Barrett to fill the extremely precious Supreme Court seat left vacant by the death of women’s rights icon Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the days of Chief Justice Roberts leading the court may be numbered … by his own doing.
Roberts has spent a lot of time over the last few years carefully solidifying his legacy as more of a moderate justice rather than one who is on the far right wing. His first major step in that direction was his decision to abandon the Court’s conservatives in 2012 and cast the deciding vote to save the Affordable Care Act (ACA), better known as Obamacare.
Right-wingers were stunned this June when Roberts voted to reject the president’s efforts to end the Deferred Action for Child Arrivals (DACA) program that provides protections against deportation for young adults who were brought to America as children without the appropriate immigration paperwork.
To add insult to right-wing injury, Roberts also helped give a win to the LGBTQ community this year by siding with liberals in a case that concluded that a federal law banning workplace sex discrimination applies to cases involving gender identity and sexual orientation, something conservatives have been fighting against vehemently.
Most recently, Roberts joined the court’s left wing in a 4-4 decision, that let stand a Pennsylvania law allowing mail-in and absentee ballots to be counted after November 3, as long as they are postmarked by Election Day. Voter fraud mongers had dearly hoped that the Supreme Court would reject the lower court’s ruling, allowing Pennsylvania — a key state to winning the Electoral College — to ignore ballots that arrive after Election Day, through no fault of the voters.
While these rulings all have a decidedly liberal flavor, it’s evident from the majority of cases Chief Justice Roberts has voted on that he is far from abandoning his conservativeness. But it’s also clear that Roberts has been trying to steer his judicial legacy away from the extreme right by finding select cases through…